Live Free or Die Hard brings legendary Detective John McClane into the 21st century. Which meant kicking the action into overdrive. It also unfortunately meant giving it a PG-13 rating. Despite the franchises R rated roots and McClane’s very R rated catchphrase. He still says “Yippee-Ki-Yay,” but it has to be cut off. Yet Live Free or Die Hard is a rare example of a sequels rating change working out. Since it was an unexpected blast.
Even though Bruce Willis is older and balder than before, McClane is just as battle ready as ever. This time he’s more out of his element than ever. Instead of Christmas, Live Free or Die Hard centers around Independence Day. It’s title begins the new tradition of attaching “Hard” to phrases that end with “Die.” Instead of a book or screenplay, the plot was based on a magazine article titled “A Farewell to Arms.” It detailed a cyberterrorist plot to seize control of nationwide electronics through a method know as a “fire sale.” In hopes of disabling American infrastructure.
So the old fashioned police officer has to team up with a young hacker in order to stop them. McClane now travels around the country encountering the most insane action set pieces. He launches a police car into a helicopter, fights a jet on a freeway, and narrowly avoids a car being flung towards him. The climax ends with McClane having to rescue his daughter who’s been taken (just 1 year before). It’s over-the-top in a way that works. Even Kevin Smith as a fellow hacker isn’t too cheesy. Live Free or Die Hard is a modern spin on an old favorite.